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Currency Reform in Argentina Endangers Program to Bring Jewish Youths to Israel

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Currency reform in Argentina has placed in jeopardy an important program to bring Latin American Jewish youths to Israel, Avraham Katz, chairman of the World Zionist Organization’s youth department, told the WZO Executive at its weekly session here.

He said only 200 youngsters would arrive in Israel this year under the program, known as “Operation Tapuz,” compared to 800 from Argentina last year. According to Katz, the dollar cost of the program remains the same but the devaluation of Argentine currency has increased costs locally by 500 percent. Katz stressed the importance of the program. He said many of the youths brought over stayed in Israel for long-term projects and a substantial number remained permanently.

Unless the WZO treasury finds a solution, “we would lose an asset,” Katz said. Most of the session was devoted to various summer projects sponsored by the WZO and there was a shared concern among the department heads over the drop in the number of participants due primarily to rising costs. WZO chairman Leon Dulzin appointed a committee to study the issue and come up with recommendations.

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